photography

The CrossFit Games Open - Cátia

Last, but certainly not least, Cátia.

I’m not sure what best characterizes her, a heart of gold or a will of steel, but if you’re one of us who can call her a friend, you have one more thing to be grateful of.

(Also, she looks great in front of the camera, but that’s just an extra.)

Workout 19.5

33-27-21-15-9 reps for time of:

65-lb. thrusters, Chest-to-bar pull-ups

Time cap: 20 minutes

I did my own little workout during this shoot, climbing up and down a stepladder, hauling a 70-200 mm on a Canon 5D Mk IV.

Not that I wanted to punish myself, but in order to "clean up” the background I had to get extreme angles, from above and from below.

The CrossFit Games Open 2019 - Andreia

Andreia is the next one up in my photo series of athletes in the CrossFit Games Open 2019, at AlphaDen CrossFit.

I’m a big fan of this coach's classes! Her "tough love" both in class and in competition (took several no reps from her during the Open!) remind me that training is not just the act of moving the body, but setting and meeting goals, big or small.

And because there’s nothing like teaching by example, when competing she shows that focus, resolve and excellence are not words, but actions.

Specifically, these photos show a wod (workout of the day) where the athletes had to complete the following list of exercises, as fast as possible (up to 10 min):

60 m dumbbell overhead lunge, 50 dumbbell box step-ups, 50 strict handstand push-ups, 60 m handstand walk

The CrossFit Games Open 2019 - Coach T

“What was that?!..."

“That”, was Tiago going by, leaving everyone behind!

Tiago Lousa (Coach T) is an absolute machine when it comes to endurance and speed wods. He is also the engine behind Alpha Den CrossFit, having co-founded it almost 3 years ago and leading it by showing what a true athlete should be.

Over the years, I’ve developed my photography skills just by trying to keep up with him. After “321 GO!” I know there will be no mercy, as he devours the reps, going relentlessly from one exercise to the other, until the word is done. You blink, you missed it!

The CrossFit Games Open 2019 - Phelps

The CrossFit Games Open 2019 is over (the first one that is, because exceptionally there is going to be another later on this year, but that’s not why I’m writing this).

I had the opportunity to shoot a lot of pictures at CrossFit Alpha Den (when I wasn’t doing the wods myself) and ended up with a few small series that I’m really happy with, showcasing athletes that I truly admire. Like my dear friend Nuno “Phelps”, who's the very definition of a CrossFit athlete - focused and competitive, but always ready to support everyone around him.

Nuno is one of the most experienced crossfitters at the box, and a long time athlete before that, with a wealth of knowledge that he is always happy to share.

Finding Order in Chaos

There are few things I enjoy more than going to a sports event with my camera in hand, free to capture whatever I like.

And although I can never turn away from a classic action shot, I also find myself looking for a more abstract type of scene, where the athlete, never ceasing to be the key element, shares some of his/her spotlight with other aspects of the image, like the landscape and the equipment.

While organising my recent photos from Crossfit and OCR (Obstacle Course Racing) competitions, I also found that by grouping certain images the resulting sets (of 3 photos) became much more interesting than the individual photos.
This is common practice in the editorial world, but nonetheless fascinating. It’s like finding order in chaos.

 

Wild Challenge Cascais 2016 - Obstacle Course Racing

 

Wild Challenge Cascais 2016 - Obstacle Course Racing

 

Wild Challenge Cascais 2016 - Obstacle Course Racing

 

Loures Urban Obstacles 2016 - Obstacle Course Racing

 

Wild Challenge Cascais 2016 - Obstacle Course Racing

 

Manz Cross Games 2016 - CrossFit

 

Manz Cross Games 2016 - CrossFit

Lifestyle, Travel & Photography

One of the upsides of being a people photographer, is that you get to meet very interesting people, like Karl-Heinz Limberg, who I photographed last year at the stunning Palácio Belmonte, in Lisbon.
His interest in travel, fitness and great atitude towards life in general made us friends on the spot!

He recently featured an interview with me in his lifestyle blog, talking about photography and some of the life decisions that lead me to becoming a professional photographer.
If you are at all interested in lifestyle, fitness and travel, you should definitely check out what he is up to.

 

        Karl-Heinz Limberg at Palacio Belmonte

How to get photos from the internet (without hurting the photographers…)

How to get photos from the internet (without hurting the photographers…)

In one way or another, we all create, reproduce and publish content on a regular basis, be it on a blog, Facebook, a forum, etc. and we need images to illustrate them.
So we can go ahead and make the image we need or we can look for it… on the internet.

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Anatomy of a Photomontage

"How fast do you want to go?”

 

Step 1: dig up an old (and boring!) photo taken at Marvão (Portugal)

Marvão, Portugal

Step 2: throw it into Photoshop and beat those pixels up until you squeeze the speed out of it!*

As Frederick Van Johnson, host of the This Week in Photo podcast often says “pixels were born to be punished!"

*(in this case, motion blur, noise, contrast, saturation) 

speed road

Step 3: photograph a cool biker

Biker

Step 4: join them together and… BAM!

speed bike photomontage (composite)

Time & Money

I love Alan Watts's lecture "What if Money Was No Object?"

And every once in a while, I ask myself the difficult question: “if time and money (or any other thing) were no object, what would you like to do in the next few years?”

To make it easier, I sometimes narrow it down: "if time and money (or any other thing) were no object, what would you like to photograph in the next few years?”

When we take out of the way whatever is blocking our dreams (at least in our mind), we’re left with the responsibility to take control over our happiness. Maybe that’s why we always have so many "obstacles"...